If both Google and Apple are talking Near Field Communication, there must be something to it. So what’s with the technology behind NFC?
Computerworld gives a pretty solid inside look. And it turns out that, as usual, our friends in Japan have already been using it casually for… ahem… “ever” (ie. longer than two months. Which is, of course, in tech-speak “forever”).
In the near future the technology will serve its purpose in the POS arena. It is very convenient for the end user and helps merchants to keep costs low. A process as simple as fishing the credit card out of the pocket.
With the technological aspects covered, let’s look at the security issues we have to deal with: Identity fraud is one of the major pains, a multibillion-dollar crime causing U.S. retail merchants fraud losses of $191 billion annually alone (Javelin Strategy & Research 2009). The costs caused by fraud are enormous for retailers and are dampening consumer confidence when it comes to online shopping.
The way it looks at the moment, the cause for concern seems justified. Complementary solutions are still missing to create a secure connection between the credit card and the NFC chip. A simple step in between to validate the card would make the whole process much more of a secure mobile solution.
Near Field Communication has a bright future ahead, with one in six mobile subscribers worldwide likely to own a device enabled with NFC capabilities by 2014 according to Juniper Research. Interesting times!